Posted on July 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Important mushroom species that help trees grow were wiped out by the mountain pine beetle epidemic, potentially leaving future forests more susceptible to renewed insect attacks. @bberwyn photo.
Widespread mushroom die-off dramatically lowers seedling survival rate
FRISCO — The recent pine beetle outbreak in western forests may have left the next generation of trees more vulnerable to future pests, Canadian researchers concluded in a new study that examined how the wave of tree deaths affected fungi that grow together with lodgepole pines.
Many trees, including lodgepoles, are partly dependent on certain fungi that enable a nutrient exchange at the cellular level. But the pine beetle outbreak was so widespread that many of the beneficial fungi disappeared. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, forests, mushrooms and fungi, pine beetles and wildfires | Tagged: Forest health, forest regeneration, forests, fungi, mountain pine beetles, mushrooms | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study shows regional variations in forest health equation
Annual aerial survey enable resource managers to map the spread of tree-killing bugs.
FRISCO — Warming winters across the western U.S. have had a nuanced effect on the severity of mountain pine beetle outbreaks, researchers said last week.
The absence of lengthy bug-killing cold snaps in some areas has helped fuel the growth of insect populations,, but milder winters can’t be blamed for the full extent of recent outbreaks in the region, according to a study by Dartmouth College and U.S. Forest Service. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, forests, global warming, pine beetles and wildfires | Tagged: climate change, Forest health, forests, mountain pine beetles | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 7, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Aerial surveys help track forest changes over time
Nearly every mature spruce has been killed by spruce beetle in this drainage on the Rio Grande National Forest.Photo: Brian Howell.
Spruce beetles are spreading quickly in southwestern Colorado. Graph courtesy USFS.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — There’s good news and bad news from Colorado’s forests. Mountain pine beetle activity has faded to the lowest level since 1996, but spruce beetles continue to spread in the San Juans and in northwestern Colorado.
The spruce beetle outbreak was detected on 485,000 acres in 2014, compared to 398,000 acres across the state in 2013, according to the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forest Service. The annual aerial survey by the two agencies shows that the spruce beetle outbreak expanded to 253,000 new acres. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Environment, Forest health, forests, pine beetles, pine beetles and wildfires, US Forest Service | Tagged: aerial forest survey, Colorado, Forest health, forests, mountain pine beetles, spruce beetles | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Lodgepole pines killed by beetles stand silhoutted against the evening sky in Summit County, Colorado.
Smooth-barked trees better able to repel insects
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Lodgepole and ponderosa pines with smoother bark may be better at repelling tree-killing bugs, according to Boulder-based researchers with the University of Colorado.
The new findings may help forest managers as they plan logging projects, especially in areas where there is a need to protect high-value trees — in developed recreation areas or on private property.
The study was published online in the journal Functional Ecology. While the current pine beetle epidemic has slowed dramatically in many areas, it wiped out millions of trees across 3.4 million acres since 1996. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Forest health, forests, pine beetles and wildfires | Tagged: CU Boulder, Environment, Forest health, forests, mountain pine beetles | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Beetle-killed lodgepole pines in Summit County, Colorado.
Tracking pheromones may help resource managers slow the spread of infestation
By Summit Voice
*Read extensive coverage of mountain pine beetle and fores health at this Summit Voice link
FRISCO — While the mountain pine beetle epidemic has waned in most Colorado forests, the tiny insects are still killing huge swaths of trees in Canada, where researchers say they may be close finding an effective bait.
The University of Alberta scientists say their results may enable forest managers to get ahead of the destructive spread of mountain pine beetle, which is now killing not only lodgepole pine forests, but jack pine. Continue reading
Filed under: Forest health, forests, pine beetles and wildfires | Tagged: Forest health, forests, jack pine, mountain pine beetles, University of Alberta | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 31, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Mountain Pine Beetle. Photo courtesy Ward Strong, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.
Findings may help forest managers control outbreaks
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Scientists who recently completed decoding the pine beetle genome say their findings could help forest managers develop ways to manage the epidemic in the future.
“We know a lot about what the beetles do,” said Christopher Keeling, a research associate at Canada’s Michael Smith Laboratories. “But without the genome, we don’t know exactly how they do it.” Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Forest health, forests, pine beetles | Tagged: Forest health, forests, mountain pine beetles, pine beetle genome | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Local company continue to offer spraying services, saying some property owners would rather be safe than sorry
Pine beetle populations have dropped to the lowest level in 30 years in parts of the Colorado high country. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — While some local property owners report that they’re getting advertisements from local tree spraying companies about protecting lodgepole pines from mountain pine beetles, state officials say there’s no need to apply pesticides this year.
“Mountain pine beetle numbers are the lowest they’ve been in 30 years,” said Ron Cousineau, district state forester for the area covering Summit and Grand counties. “The mountain pine beetle population has crashed … spraying has to be based on an actual threat,” he said. “The current population of pine beetles does not warrant spraying.”
Essentially, the bugs have killed most of the available trees. With very few brood trees remaining, beetle populations aren’t likely to reach epidemic levels again anytime soon. The latest forest surveys showed pine beetle activity on only about 200 acres in Summit County last year, with only a few pockets of trees within those areas affected by the beetles. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, Forest health, forests, pine beetles, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Colorado State Forest Service, Environment, forests, mountain pine beetles, pesticides, Summit County News, United States Forest Service | Leave a comment »